World Road Championships - CM
Salzburg, Austria, September 20-24, 2006
Results & report
Race 6 - September 24: Elite men's road race, 265.8km
Live Commentary by Jeff Jones and Laura Weislo, with additional reporting
from Hedwig Kröner and Kristy Scrymgeour
Live coverage starts: 10:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 16:45 CEST
G'day und willkommen auf Salzburg
for Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2006 elite men's world championship
road race. The men race over 12 laps of the 22.15 km circuit for a total of
265.8 km. We've seen that the circuit is quite fast but still testing enough
to extract a breakaway group out of the clutches of the peloton. The first climb
up to Zilling doesn't seem to be tough enough to cause major damage, but the
second climb, the Gschaiderberg, has been the key point. It comes right after
a fast descent and is only 750m, but it's steep enough to break things up near
the top. If you get enough of a gap, then the peloton won't come back on the
descent to the finish.
The weather today is once again beautiful
and sunny, with a steady breeze blowing. It's from the south east, which means
it will be a head/crosswind on both climbs. Temperatures should be in the mid-20s
and it will be a perfect day for racing.
The riders are now being
called up to the line, with defending champion Tom Boonen looking quite happy
with the state of affairs.
Other favourites today include Vuelta
stars Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan), Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Erik Zabel
(Germany) and Paolo Bettini (Italy). Then there are jokers like Stefan Schumacher
(Germany) and Philippe Gilbert (Belgium).
The Belgians look relaxed
on the start line as the gun goes off to start the race. Let's get it on! Paolo
Bettini and Luca Paolini are the last men to start, with Bettini checking his
back wheel for the last time.
10:31 CEST 1km/264.8km to go
And straight away,
there is an attack. It's Jose Antonio Ramos Querales (Venezuela). No-one is
going to chase him.
10:33 CEST 2km/263.8km to go
There is a reaction
behind the Venezuelan, as a small group forms in pursuit. Ramos has 35 seconds.
10:34 CEST 3km/262.8km to go
The speed lifts
in the bunch as teams sort out their tactics. Now it bunches up again.
Martin Riska (Slovakia) signals for the neutral support.
10:35 CEST 4km/261.8km to go
Ramos works hard
as he tries to get his lone breakaway to work. He's sitting right on the point
of the saddle, but now has just 15 seconds to the peloton.
10:37 CEST 5km/260.8km to go
The gap starts to
close down, prompting counter attacks from the bunch. Two riders go off in pursuit
He is caught by a counter, but the
bunch is right there. All together at the foot of the first climb. Bruseghin
is up there, marking things for the Italians.
10:40 CEST 7km/258.8km to go
Maros Kovac (Slovakia)
counters with an Italian - Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy), and Dutch rider - Bram
de Groot. Nocentini's vest is zipped open and flapping in the breeze. The Spanish
close it down.
10:42 CEST 8km/257.8km to go
Carlos Sastre (Spain)
sits second last wheel, but will probably try to move up a bit. The top of the
climb is reached, and the pack is still together.
10:44 CEST 9km/256.8km to go
The peloton flies
down the first little descent, then up a small climb before the next, longer
descent to the Gschaiderberg.
10:49 CEST 12km/253.8km to go
OVer the top of
the Gschaiderberg for the first time, and it's the Italians and Colombians controlling
things, but riding a hardish tempo.
Croatian Matija Kvasina crashes
against a barrier, but looks to be ok. Burkina Faso's Rabaki Jeremie Ouedraogo
is off the back.
10:50 CEST 15km/250.8km to go
The descent back
into town is taken at a moderate pace with one of the Germans leading the bunch.
10:53 CEST 17km/248.8km to go
The peloton reaches
the bottom of the descent in a blaze of colour. Two riders try to get a gap
as they turn left into the narrow section up past the team boxes.
10:55 CEST 18km/247.8km to go
It's Alex Ardila
Cano (Colombia) with a small gap as he rides up the last small climb. There
was a reaction in the peloton, but any chance to form a chase group has been
10:57 CEST 19km/246.8km to go
The road narrows
and the bunch has to funnel through, thinning out in the process. Ardila has
a good half a minute.
10:58 CEST 20km/245.8km to go
Tyler Farrar (USA)
is in pursuit of Cano, and is about 30 seconds behind. The bunch is another
10 seconds back, not looking too hurried.
11:00 CEST 21km/244.8km to go
the final kilometre, with Farrar closing to 15 seconds. If the two can get together,
they will be able to maximise their strengths.
11:01 CEST 23km/242.8km to go
the line with the crowd giving him a huge cheer. Farrar is next at 32 seconds.
Then the peloton at 1'18.
That first lap was completed in 30'03 (44.22
11:05 CEST 26km/239.8km to go
Ardila is hammering
along on his own, trying to increase the gap to the bunch. Once it gets big
enough, he'll probably wait for Farrar, who is still 30 seconds behind him.
Farrar's teammate Danny Pate is sitting
last wheel, chatting to one of the Austrians.
11:08 CEST 27km/238.8km to go
The three man Burkina
Faso team is having problems today. Abdul Wahab Sawadogo has just closed the
gap to the peloton after being dropped, but Saïdou Rouamba and Rabaki Jeremie
Ouedraogo are both off the back.
Ardila reaches the foot of the first
11:10 CEST 29km/236.8km to go
The gap to the
bunch is now 2'40, as Farrar chases Ardila up the first hill. The Colombian
isn't waiting for him just yet.
Aurélien Clerc (Switzerland) drops
back and signals for his team car.
Russell Downing (Great Britain) signals
for some support at the back of the bunch. The British vertical red, white and
blue stripes are very striking.
11:14 CEST 31km/234.8km to go
Ardila goes over
the top of the climb, then down and up the next little hill. Farrar is still
35 seconds behind. He'll need a bit of help to get up to the Colombian, who
should probably wait now. He doesn't look like he wants to though.
The peloton reaches the top of the
climb, led by the Italians.
The Russian team has an interesting composition:
37 Alexander Arekeev
38 Alexandre Bazhenov
39 Alexandre Botcharov
40 Alexander Efimkin
41 Vladimir Efimkin
42 Vladimir Gusev
44 Alexandr Kolobnev
45 Alexei Markov
They seem to have two team captains: Vladimir and Alex.
11:21 CEST 37km/228.8km to go
the top of the Gschaiderberg with 1'02 on Farrar. There's been a reaction in
the peloton, with four riders, including Roche hammering off the front. Two
Italians are up there, including Tosatto. The gap is around 2'00 at the top.
11:23 CEST 38km/227.8km to go
Ardila is already
halfway down the descent, as Sawadogo (Burkina) is already a minute or two behind
the peloton again. Burkina's chances of winning the rainbow jersey this year
look to be slim.
11:26 CEST 40km/225.8km to go
Farra might have
to wait for the 10 or so chasers as he reaches the bottom of the descent, a
minute behind Ardila. Still trying to get names in this chase group.
Nicolas Roche (Ireland), Matteo Tosatto
and Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy), Jurgen Van Goolen (Belgium), Bram De Groot (Netherlands),
Daniel Andonov Petrov (Bulgaria) are some of the chasers. There's a German there
too, possibly Schreck.
11:29 CEST 41km/224.8km to go
Farrar sucks down
an energy gel as he ponders what to do. Probably wait for a bit. He's not catching
Ardila on his own.
11:29 CEST 42km/223.8km to go
The bunch is taking
it very easy, with Haselbacher sitting at the back at 30 km/h with a heart rate
11:32 CEST 44.3km/221.5km to go
The full composition
of the chasing break, which has absorbed Tyler Farrar (USA): Nicolas Roche (Ireland),
Matteo Tosatto and Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy), Jurgen Van Goolen (Belgium), Bram
De Groot (Netherlands), Daniel Andonov Petrov (Bulgaria), Luis Perez Rodriguez
(Spain), Thomas Voeckler (France), Stephan Schreck (Germany), Aliaksandr Kychinski
Ardila reaches the finish line of lap 2, having done that
in 32'01 (41.509 km/h).
11:36 CEST 47km/218.8km to go
The chasing group
crosses the line 1'00 behind the Colombian. They should catch him on this lap.
It's an interesting break, with Italy having two riders in it, Belgium, Spain,
Germany, France and the Netherlands all one each. The big nations that are missing
are Australia, Russia and Switzerland.
Robert Radosz (Poland) is
trying to catch the leaders on his own, but he's got no hope. He trails the
leader by 2'50. Then a Venezuelan on his own, and it's Jose Antonio Ramos Querales
at 3'40. The main peloton is at 4'15, not looking in a hurry.
11:47 CEST 52km/213.8km to go
Cano reaches the
top of the first climb and heads down the short descent that follows. The chase
group behind is heading into the feed zone, getting a little sustenance for
what could be a long ride out front. They're now only 15 seconds behind Cano.
Radosz is 2'45 in arrears, and the peloton is kilometres behind.
11:54 CEST 57km/208.8km to go
And Cano is caught
by the chasers just over the top of the second climb. Radosz is still in no
man's land, not making much progress - actually losing ground to the leaders
now. He's 3'04 behind, with Frantisek Rabon (Czech Republic) another 15" back,
and Jose Antonio Ramos Querales (Venezuela) still away from the bunch another
1'40 behind Rabon.
12:04 CEST 65km/200.8km to go
As the leaders
end their third lap, they've finally got the paceline rolling smoothly. This
will make the chase of Radosz, Rabon and Ramos very difficult.
12:05 CEST 66km/199.8km to go
to be having trouble with his pedal, and unclips and fiddles with his shoe.
The group isn't going so hard that this has any ill effect for him.
12:07 CEST 68km/197.8km to go
The peloton takes
a nature break before they get into the more heavily populated section of town
as the leaders reach the first feed zone. Rabon and Radosz are now at the end
of the lap, and losing time to the leaders. They're now at 3'44.
The situation at the end of the
third lap remains as follows:
- Alex Ardila Cano (Colombia), Tyler Farrar (USA), Nicolas Roche (Ireland),
Matteo Tosatto and Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy), Jurgen Van Goolen (Belgium),
Bram De Groot (Netherlands), Daniel Andonov Petrov (Bulgaria), Luis Perez
Rodriguez (Spain), Stephan Schreck (Germany), Aliaksandr Kychinski (Belarus),
Thomas Voeckler (France)
- Robert Radosz (Poland), Frantisek Rabon (Czech Republic) at 3'44
- Jose Antonio Ramos Querales at 6'55
- Peloton at 9'55
Lap time on that circuit was 31'49.
12:20 CEST 76km/189.8km to go
The leaders are
getting another feed after the first climb. It's warm and dry today in Salzburg,
so it will be important for these guys to stay hydrated if they're going to
be out front all day. Voeckler had a little trouble again, and had to sprint
back up to the group before they headed downhill again.
12:25 CEST 80km/185.8km to go
leads the group up to the top of the second climb, making it look pretty easy.
Voeckler is again at the back, rocking his bike back and forth in his slightly
erratic style... but it works for him, and they're all over the top and onto
the false flat together.
Radosz and Rabon are losing more ground,
way back on the first climb as the leaders start the fast descent off the Gschaiderberg.
Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes
writes in: "Young Nicolas Roche, in our lead group today, is actually the son
of Stephen Roche, who won this race 19 years ago. Nicolas (Cofidis this year,
Credit Agricole in 2007 and 2008) won a stage, wore yellow for two days and
finished tenth overall in the Tour de l'Avenir. He is still 22, this is his
first elite worlds. Ditto for Philip Deignan (AG2R), who was ninth in the under
23 world champs last year in Madrid and took second on a mountain stage in l'Avenir,
showing he is back to strong form after a season hampered by glandular fever."
Neil Stephens' Australian team has
missed this break today, but we probably won't see them chasing right away.
He's still considering their team a bit of an underdog, and they'll play off
the bigger teams like Italy and Belgium. O'Grady is an outside hope for the
team today - he gets over the hills pretty well. Robbie McEwen is sticking near
the front of the bunch on the climb, as the peloton comes up more than 12 minutes
behind the leaders.
12:38 CEST 88.8km/177km to go
The leaders have
finished lap four, still rolling through in a tight rotation. The lap was a
bit slower this time, 32'04 to complete 2.05.57 at 42 km/h. The peloton is still
a bit sluggish, not showing any signs of launching a chase: they're getting
close to 13' behind.
David Millar said that he's a bit
tired from the Vuelta - he rode about 80km on Tuesday, another 80km on Wednesday,
took Thursday completely off. Basically a big rest to try and re-energize the
legs for today.
Erik Zabel was asked if his team could be counted
on to work for him today: "When you're at the world championships... it gets
difficult to forget your own ambitions. But I think our team has good character...
And it's good to have a little ambition."
Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) is on
great form at the moment, but dispels any thoughts of a Wallonia/Flanders conflict
between himself and teammate Boonen. His ambitions for the race? "We're going
to ride for Boonen, of course, because he's the big favourite. If there's a
break in the final circuits, I'll try to go for it, but otherwise it's for Boonen".
13:02 CEST 107km/158.8km to go
Rabon and Radosz
crest the second climb, still working together, but their gap is ever so slowly
slipping away... 5'57 now, as the leaders are heading back into town. The peloton
is starting to show signs of life - under a bit of an arrow shape at the moment
indicating that somebody has started to work at the front.
13:09 CEST 110km/155.8km to go
The peloton has
passed over the first climb, and are now single file as they cover the short
descent. They've finally decided that the gap has grown too large, and the Dutch
and Austrians are pushing the pace.
Bernhard Kohl (Austria) leads the bunch
up the climb, as the leaders complete their fifth lap. That's a 9km stretch
between the two groups.
13:10 CEST 110km/155.8km to go
That lap was still
slower than the previous one, this time only 33'05. The leaders are still working
well together, but not going all out. Tyler Farrar (United States) heads to
the back of the group, probably so he can catch a bidon at the upcoming feedzone.
13:13 CEST 111km/154.8km to go
It's lunch time
for our leaders, and they all grab musettes from their helpers. They've still
got a very long way to go. Rabon and Radosz are still going hard, getting some
good media time, but not much else.
Yesterday's races showed that this
course favours keen sprinters who aren't afraid to be aggressive. Women's winner
Marianne Vos attacked several times coming into the finale, but still managed
to win the sprint by several bike lengths. Oddly enough, Vos doesn't even have
a trade team - she rides for a club. Surely she's gotten a few offers overnight!
Joost Posthuma (Netherlands) and
Bernard Kohl (Austria) are still up front leading the chase. Posthuma pulls
off, letting the Austrian take over. Now, the Austrians missed the break, but
the Dutch have de Groot up front... perhaps his team doesn't favour his chances.
One of the riders whose style really
suits this course is Stefan Schumacher. Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner asked
him for his take on the race: "I hope that a group can go, that would be optimal.
It wouldn't be good for me if we get to the finish with 60 or 70 guys... But
with the wind today, attacking will be harder. But it could also be that the
field disintegrates before that, because there will be a crosswind between the
two climbs, and because the road is so narrow.
"Zabel came out of
the Vuelta really strong, so he is our chance for a medal or for the victory
in a sprint. If guys like Bettini have a good day, I will try to go for it with
him. The Italians have the advantage that they have a lot of very strong guys.
The Spaniards too, with Flecha and Sanchez.
"I feel good, I'm optimistic.
I haven't raced for two weeks, so then you always have a bit of apprehension...
but I felt good in training."
13:33 CEST 124km/141.8km to go
Voeckler is finding
the hill a bit difficult now, and drops off the pace on the climb... but he's
got a nice descent to catch back on. But he's certainly not going to enjoy the
climbs later in the race if he's suffering near the halfway point.
Fränk Schleck should have been an
outside favourite for win today, but has apparently been suffering from some
stomach troubles. He took the start this morning, and will be hoping to recover
well enough to contend later on.
13:40 CEST 128km/137.8km to go
The gap has come
down significantly as the Swiss give the Austrians a hand at the front. The
peloton has just crested the Gschaiderberg. Rabon and Radosz are still dangling
ahead, but will likely be pulled back to the bunch on the descent. The pack
is single file again, speeding through the twisty streets - it's quite a beautiful
sight from the overhead view.
13:43 CEST 132km/133.8km to go
The leaders are
heading toward the end of the lap - just coming out of a nice sweeping left
hand bend under a bridge. Then it's a few right/left bends and a straight and
wide last 500m. If it does come down to a big bunch sprint today, it should
be a safe one. It's the narrow roads leading into the final kilometres that
will be the dodgy part.
33'05 for that lap.
13:45 CEST 135km/130.8km to go
Time for a second
lunch for Tyler Farrar, and he grabs his musette. Jurgen Van Goolen (Belgium)
misses his bottle and looks really annoyed. He reaches for a bottle from another
team, but doesn't get it. He'll have another chance after the next climb.
13:49 CEST 139km/126.8km to go
Still not present
at the front as the bunch swallows up the break of Rabon and Radosz are the
Australians. Simon Gerrans said today "I'll hang out in the bunch as long as
possible before doing anything, because it will be a very fast race, and early
attacks might fade just like they did yesterday. There will be a headwind across
the climbs, and maybe a bit of crosswind over the top. The stronger wind across
the climb should make it a lot more difficult."
13:57 CEST 142km/123.8km to go
The entirety of
the Swiss team is at the front of the race, really stringing out the bunch to
close down this gap. They're being propelled by the victory of Fabian Cancellara
in the time trial, and are determined to pull off a double for Switzerland.
The leaders have reached the top of the climb and are heading over the flatter
part. They're working pretty hard now, being aware that the chase is on full
14:05 CEST 146km/119.8km to go
The lead group
heads over the second climb, and there are a few riders struggling with that
steep bit. The bunch is still under the pressure of the Swiss team, and is closing
in on the breakaway, just a few kilometres behind, descending the first hill
as the leaders head down the final descent of the lap.
14:10 CEST 150km/115.8km to go
On the second
climb, there is some serious action in the peloton as Bruseghin attacks. Over
the top, Marlon Alirio Perez Arango (Colombia), Mart Ojavee (Estonia), Marcel
Sieberg (Germany), Marzio Bruseghin and Filippo Pozzato (Italy), Yaroslav Popovych
(Ukraine) and Nick Nuyens (Belgium) have a gap, chasing the leaders at six minutes.
More riders join them.
The break is closed down by the bunch
on the descent, and Bruseghin continues to set a hard tempo. The gap to the
leaders is less than 6 minutes.
14:18 CEST 158km/107.8km to go
and Spanish keep the tempo up coming into the start finish zone. The peloton
looks pretty large still - well over 100 riders.
The leaders pass
through the team boxes, with Schreck grabbing a feed bag. Luis Perez drops to
the back and signals for help.
The peloton comes up to the finish,
4'40 behind the break, with Wrolich(?) on the front ahead of a string of Spaniards.
Australian team director Scott Sunderland
spoke to Cyclingnews this morning: "The course can be difficult, not
so much the climb itself but the way it approaches the climb. The climb is steep
but short, and you don't have to do it so many times. But the will be a lot
of position fighting before that descent, otherwise you'll get an accordion
"What also changes a little bit is that there are some very
good bike riders who are on their own, as they changed the team participation
rules. That will change the tactics of the race and the outcome, I think. It
will be a very aggressive race today.
"Stuart is very confident,
though. He's got the full support of the team, so we'll se what we can do. I
think it will be a group sprint - something like last year, where 20 or 30 riders
just came back together in the end. But it will be very difficult.
"You only have to get the right combination of guys, and there are so many:
Boogerd, Valverde, Sastre, Schleck, Vinokourov etc. I think the Spanish and
the Italians will make it very difficult today, until two laps to go. The problem
is that all the big teams have at least one back-up leader: we have Cadel Evans,
the Belgians have Gilbert, Italy's got Di Luca and Pozzato, who will be eager
to show himself today. The Germans have Schumacher, and so on. If all of these
guys are in front, and their sprinters in the back, what do you do then?"
Berni Kohl (Austria) comes to the
finish line on his own, looking very tired. He did a lot of work to pull back
the break to something manageable. He gets a huge cheer from the home town crowd.
14:27 CEST 164km/101.8km to go
The peloton slows
down as it starts the eighth lap.
Robert Radosz (Poland) is now
at the finish line, his race essentially over. He missed the break and spent
a lot of time in a fairly fruitless pursuit. Bernhard Kohl abandons.
14:30 CEST 165km/100.8km to go
The leaders reach
the top of the first climb, with a watchful peloton now tackling it. Dutch and
Italian jerseys are prominent, with Boonen well placed in the third rank. But
it isn't a chasing pace.
The lead group goes through the second feed
zone, with Schreck dropping his bidon.
14:32 CEST 166km/99.8km to go
Luis Perez does
a hard turn over the top, then Farrar, who has had a good race so far today.
14:34 CEST 168km/97.8km to go
Tosatto leads the
break on the Gschaiderberg, with Schreck and De Groot in tow. Voeckler sits
last wheel, and has to close a gap over the top. Farrar, Petrov and Nocentini
have to chase as well.
The bunch winds it up on the second
climb with Rujano powering away before he is swamped by the rest. Pozzato drives
it to the top, and the gap is about 3'00. The bunch strings out, and there are
gaps appearing. Devolder, Rogers, Boogerd, Paolini, Valverde, Gilbert are all
Wrolich comes to the top of the climb,
heart rate at 180, sitting at 20 km/h. His race is finished.
14:39 CEST 171km/94.8km to go
Boonen and Valverde
follow Pozzato over the top - the favourites are already starting to show themselves,
and there's still 100 km to go.
14:42 CEST 173km/92.8km to go
The leaders are
now at the foot of the descent, taking the left hander into the back streets
through the industrial zone.
At the head of the bunch, we see Mexican
Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio for a bit. Then a Spanish and Dutch rider slow things
down a little. Boonen checks around for his team.
14:45 CEST 174km/91.8km to go
The leaders ride
over the railway with three km to go, still working together fairly well.
Steffen Wesemann (Switzerland) spoke to us this morning: "As we're not the favourites
in this race, we have to use the tactical situations of the others. I hope we'll
go into the finale with as many riders as possible, and that one of us plays
his cards right in the end.
"We'll have a headwind going up to the
first climb, so that will make it hard for a break to go, as the road there
is so wide. It's a fast course; it hurts during training but in the race you'll
roll over it. I think there's a big chance for a bunch sprint."
14:47 CEST 176km/89.8km to go
The leaders reach
the 1 km to go banner for the eighth time. Farrar in front, taking the right
hander under the railway, then Kychinski rolls through for his turn.
14:49 CEST 177km/88.8km to go
And it's Schreck
who leads them through the start/finish for the end of lap 8. The lap time was
32'59 (40.29 km/h) with the overall average now 41.2 km/h.
are some attacks in the peloton, with a group of six or seven trying to get
clear, led by Volodymyr Zagorodniy (Ukraine) and Cyril Dessel (France).
14:50 CEST 179km/86.8km to go
One of the Russian
Alexes takes over, but the peloton is right behind this counter move, led by
the Dutch. It's strung out and the gap is 2'28. They erased a good two minutes
from the break on that lap.
14:53 CEST 181km/84.8km to go
and Zabel were towards the back of the bunch on that lap.
reaches the feed zone, and most riders manage to grab bottles. Rogers looks
annoyed that he can't find his soigneur. Someone drops a bidon, and it rolls
gently into the path of the peloton. No-one hits it, until a following car runs
over it and sprays water everywhere.
14:55 CEST 183km/82.8km to go
At the back of
the break, De Groot and Van Goolen have a chat. The foot of the first climb
The prizes awarded to the national
teams for the victory at the World's this year vary greatly from nation to nation.
For example, the Austrian federation promised Eisel, Totschnig & co. €8000
for keeping the rainbow jersey within the country. The Italians, on the other
hand may hand out an incentive of €125,000 if they win today, while the
Belgians have promised €40,000.
15:00 CEST 186km/79.8km to go
The gap goes up
to 2'30 again as the pace eases in the peloton. But now things will pick up
as the bunch climbs up to Zilling. Aha, now the Italians get on the front and
ride a bit harder.
15:03 CEST 188km/77.8km to go
Ballan leads the
bunch on the climb, as the leaders roll over the top past feed zone 2. There
are big crowds up here, and it's been a very popular race.
an attack in the break, and Voeckler is one of two riders who try to get a gap.
But it comes back together. Roche looks a bit tired in last wheel.
15:05 CEST 190km/75.8km to go
The Italians have
really dropped the hammer and the peloton is 200m long as it takes the first
little descent. The leaders are on the second descent, en route to the Gschaiderberg.
De Groot, then Schreck set tempo, before Luis Perez takes over with a really
hard turn. This hurts De Groot and Farrar.
Perez keeps the pace up and Kychinski
is blown out the back too. The break reduces.
15:07 CEST 192km/73.8km to go
In the bunch, Paolini
attacks with Flecha, but it's not a massive move. He checks back and sees the
bunch led by the Kazakhstani team. That would be Kashechkin. The third place
getter in the Vuelta rides hard to the top, and Valverde and Boonen are close.
Gaps appear in the bunch. Kash asks the others to work over the top.
Kashechkin, Hoste, Cancellara and
a few others form a group off the front of the peloton as the descent begins.
There are gaps everywhere. Cance does a huge turn.
15:11 CEST 193km/72.8km to go
Paolini is near
the front too, but doesn't want to work with Cancellara, who spins his way down
Farrar and de Groot are trying to get back to the leaders,
who have a minute on the bunch. Kychinski is also back.
O'Grady and Cancellara swap off in
front. Cancellara wants to keep the pace up as he has about 15 riders with him.
15:14 CEST 195km/70.8km to go
For those interested,
there is 233m of climbing per lap, for a total of 2,796m.
chasers (waiting for names) have about 20 seconds on the bunch, and are 45 seconds
behind the break. The Spanish are working in the bunch.
15:16 CEST 197km/68.8km to go
The peloton closes
the gap to the 14 chasers to 18 seconds. Cancellara is doing a lot of work up
here, but isn't getting much help. Ljungqvist is there, but it's tough to pick
out the rest from the current angle of the blimp.
15:20 CEST 199km/66.8km to go
The two front groups
come together, and we have Gilbert (Belgium), Sastre and Sanchez (Spain) and
Pozzato and Di Luca (Italy) there too. That lap was 31'51 (41.7 km/h) for an
overall average of 41.27 km/h.
The Dutch are chasing hard, with the
gap at 40 seconds.
15:23 CEST 202km/63.8km to go
The lead group
is now: Nicolas Roche (Ireland), Matteo Tosatto, Danilo Di Luca, Filippo Pozzato
and Rinaldo Nocentini (Italy), Jurgen Van Goolen, Stijn Devolder and Philippe
Gilbert (Belgium), Andonov Petrov (Bulgaria), Luis Perez Rodriguez, Samuel Sanchez
and Carlos Sastre Candil (Spain), Stephan Schreck (Germany), Thomas Voeckler
(France), Aliaksandr Kychinski (Belarus), Bram De Groot (Netherlands), Tyler
Farrar (USA), Marcus Ljungqvist (Sweden), Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Stuart
O'Grady (Australia), Nicki Sorensen (Denmark), Andrey Kashechkin (Kazakhstan),
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway), Raivis Belohvosciks (Latvia), Vladimir Efimkin (Russian
Some very interesting names in there! But it's too big
to cooperate fully. We'll see what happens on the climb. Maybe some attacks
from the Italians, who have four riders there.
15:24 CEST 203km/62.8km to go
Pozzato sets the
tempo in the lead break, then Arvesen rolls over. O'Grady and Roche sit in the
last positions, then Kashechkin joins them.
15:26 CEST 204km/61.8km to go
and Ruslan Pidgornyy (Ukraine) are working in the peloton.
(Aus) has flatted at the first feed zone, where Thierry Marichal has abandoned.
In the front group, Kychinski , Tosatto, Efimkin and Ljungqvist get a bit of
a gap. It looks like the rest are sitting up.
Devolder joins the front group just
at the bottom of the first climb, with the rest of the break 10 seconds back.
The leaders: Marcus Ljungqvist (Sweden), Matteo Tosatto (Italy), Stijn Devolder
(Belgium), Vladimir Efimkin (Russian Federation), Aliaksandr Kychinski (Belarus).
15:31 CEST 206km/59.8km to go
The five come back
to the main break, which rides up the first climb at a steady pace. The bunch
is still 50 seconds back, with one or two riders trying to bridge up alone.
A Spanish rider attacks in the bunch,
which is odd because they have three riders in the break. The front of the bunch
De Groot returns to the peloton,
which is at the top of the first climb. Russell Downing is in last wheel. The
counter attacks continue - it's really on now.
In the break, Tosatto
drives it hard on the next little climb, and Farrar is dropped.
15:38 CEST 214km/51.8km to go
hard in the break on the Gschaiderberg, and the pace is high, but he doesn't
produce a split. It reforms over the top.
In the bunch, all hell
breaks loose with attacks going everywhere. Boonen is well placed near the front.
15:41 CEST 215km/50.8km to go
The lead break
is not working that well. Ljungqvist, who is the only Swede up here (but has
several of his CSC trade teammates in the break), keeps the tempo up. The peloton
is less than a minute back.
15:43 CEST 216km/49.8km to go
Di Luca keeps the
tempo up in the break, which is at the bottom of the descent and splitting up
again. Eight riders have a gap on the rest.
Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) spoke
to us this morning. "The weather is fine, so the conditions are good. We'll
see how I feel later on the bike. It's not too hot, and the breeze is ideal
- I won't have any respiratory problems today."
15:46 CEST 220km/45.8km to go
The front group:
Marcus Ljungqvist (Sweden), Vladimir Efimkin (Russian Federation), Stuart O'Grady
(Australia), Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Nicki Sorensen (Denmark), Jurgen
Van Goolen (Belgium), Andrey Kashechkin (Kazakhstan),Luis Perez Rodriguez (Spain).
But the rest of the break comes back.
Brazilian Luca Pagliarini does
a rear wheelie as he rides up the second climb, off the back of the bunch. Impressive!
15:48 CEST 221km/44.8km to go
Aha - now the Belgians
are riding in the bunch. They have three in the break, but obviously Boonen
is the man today. Hoste and Baguet are doing the work.
15:50 CEST 222km/43.8km to go
The leaders ride
under the kilometre to go banner, all together minus one or two riders. They
have 45 seconds on the bunch.
Out of interest, the CSC riders in
the break are O'Grady, Cancellara, Ljungqvist, Sastre, Sorensen and Arvesen.
That lap was ridden in 29'51 (44.522 km/h) for an overall average of 41.57 km/h.
The bunch comes through at 30 seconds, led by the Dutch and Belgians.
15:52 CEST 224km/41.8km to go
to his teammates in the break, wondering what the plan is. It doesn't look like
they're giving Gilbert a free rein.
McEwen is back with the peloton,
which is still quite big. Rodriguez, Zabel, Rogers, Boonen, Karpets, Schumacher,
Valverde - all there. It's a big bunch.
15:53 CEST 224km/41.8km to go
The break disintegrates.
It was too big, too ambitious.
15:54 CEST 225km/40.8km to go
And the counter
attacks start immediately. A French rider goes, with Van Goolen chasing and
a couple of others. The peloton comes back to them, courtesy of Team Suisse.
Flecha leads the bunch at a high
tempo with Evans on his wheel. He swings off, but Evans doesn't come through,
so Flecha continues. The pace has to stay high now.
15:58 CEST 226km/39.8km to go
Flecha and Matt
White drive the peloton hard to the foot of the first climb. Three Spaniards
are in second to fourth positions.
15:59 CEST 227km/38.8km to go
Flecha's work is
done, and he pulls off. Then Ballan sets off and strings out the peloton. One
of the Spanish riders can't follow, and gives Devolder a hand sling to close
the gap. Ballan's turn is really hurting everyone. But now he pulls off.
16:01 CEST 229km/36.8km to go
attacks behind a race moto, but he's marked by Rebellin, Nuyens, Rogers. And
everyone else, gradually. The next counter comes from Beat Zberg. Nope. And
a Belarusian rider has a go.
16:03 CEST 230km/35.8km to go
is Kanstantsin Siutsou (Belarus), former U23 world champ. He has David Loosli
(Switzerland) and Moises Aldape Chavez (Mexico) with him. They have a small
gap over the bunch.
16:04 CEST 232km/33.8km to go
and Siutsou start cooperating as they open up 20 seconds over the bunch, where
there are more counters.
16:06 CEST 235km/30.8km to go
The three leaders
hit the descent and then tackle the Gschaiderberg. Siutsou drives it on the
climb. The Verona U23 champ is impressive.
In the bunch, McEwen is
well placed in third wheel on the climb. They will close the gap to the breakaways.
Three riders bridge up, then bits and pieces. Valverde, Vino and Boonen are
in about the top 20.
16:08 CEST 236km/29.8km to go
It's Paolo Bettini
(Italy) with Fabian Wegmann (Germany). One rider is trying to bridge up. This
looks interesting... They have a gap over the splitting peloton. Wegmann does
a turn, and Bettini leaves a gap, checking back for the reinforcement. Two riders
16:09 CEST 237km/28.8km to go
The chaser is about
5 seconds behind the two leaders, but the bunch is only another 5 seconds back.
They start the descent. Let's see what Bettini and Wegmann can do.
Not much. They are caught.
Two riders counter on the descent,
getting a small gap over the reduced in size peloton. Maybe 80 riders left in
the bike race.
16:12 CEST 239km/26.8km to go
It's Davide Rebellin
(Italy) and David Loosli? (Switzerland) in front of the bunch as they take the
roundabout at the bottom of the descent. They turn left into the back section.
16:13 CEST 240km/25.8km to go
Loosli and Rebellin
increase their advantage to 10 seconds as they switch and turn through the back
roads. A second part of the peloton is closing the gap to the first, but it's
very strung out.
The two leaders go under the motorway,
then turn along the railway. Loosli isn't afraid of working with Rebellin, who
reaches into his pocket for some tasty snack.
16:15 CEST 241km/24.8km to go
(France) is coming up to the two leaders and closes the gap easily with about
3 km before the end of the lap.
16:17 CEST 242km/23.8km to go
The bunch chases
the three leaders at 10 seconds, with four of the remaining Austrians leading.
Boonen, McEwen, Eisel, Bettini, Hushovd are all well placed. At the moment,
it looks like a bunch sprint, but you never know what will happen on the last
16:17 CEST 243km/22.8km to go
past 1 km to go, then under the railway and left onto the finishing straight.
16:19 CEST 244km/21.8km to go
The three in front
look a bit knackered, but they still have 10 seconds. That lap was ridden in
28'45 (46.226 km/h). The overall average is 41.95 km/h. It's a very big bunch
now - well over 100 riders. Probably 150.
This last lap is going to be interesting.
16:21 CEST 246km/19.8km to go
The leaders go
through the team boxes with about 5 seconds. Kashechkin grabs a bidon, although
he's fairly badly placed near the back. The gap is closed.
16:23 CEST 248km/17.8km to go
The Austrians have
done all the work to bring it back, and now a French rider - Sylvain Calzati
attacks with Guido Trenti (USA) and Alexander Efimkin (Russian Federation).
We have a new trio.
16:24 CEST 249km/16.8km to go
The Italians lead
the chase 5 seconds behind, as the trio tries to get to the first climb. The
Spanish are massed in a block around Valverde, and Boonen and Gilbert are up
16:26 CEST 250km/15.8km to go
The work of the
two Italians is preventing the break form getting clear. They are caught.
Simon Gerrans looks good as he moves up the left side. Ballan and Bruseghin
are doing the work. Schumacher is also up there. The Austrians are at the back
16:27 CEST 251km/14.8km to go
Ballan drives it
hard on the first climb, with Matej Mugerli on his wheel. A Spanish rider in
third wheel has to stop. Ballan has a gap with Mugerli, but the Slovenian can't
follow and the Italian is alone.
16:29 CEST 252km/13.8km to go
and closes the gap. Bettini is up there with Vinokourov. Gaps are appearing
everywhere. Maybe 10 riders with a small lead. Valverde is up there, as is Sanchez,
who is attacking and being marked by Bettini.
16:29 CEST 253km/12.8km to go
Bettini asks the
rest to ride. Sanchez doesn't really want to yet. Vino attacks! Schumacher marks
The peloton is strung out over the
top, but still together. Boogerd follows Schumacher, then Cancellara and Sanchez
take over. They are still in a long line.
16:31 CEST 254km/11.8km to go
Bettini is riding
well as Sanchez hammers the front of the bunch with Cancellara. Schumacher,
Bettini, Boogerd in the top five too.
16:32 CEST 255km/10.8km to go
and Rogers are all up the front too. The peloton hits the descent before the
16:32 CEST 256km/9.8km to go
It's all together
on the descent, but fairly quick. Who has the legs to make a gap on the Gschaiderberg?
Sanchez drives it to the foot of
the descent, then Arvesen and Paolini force it.
16:34 CEST 257km/8.8km to go
Paolini leads Arvesen,
Kroon, Wegmann, Sébastien Hinault.. Wegmann gives it everything with Kroon and
Bettini and Boogerd on his wheel. Boogerd can't follow. Millar, Vinokourov are
Bettini goes hard over the top and
gaps Kroon and Wegmann. The Italian leader has a gap...
16:35 CEST 258km/7.8km to go
Kroon and Wegmann
are joined by another rider in pursuit. Is that Boogerd? Then Vino and Millar
are there. Five chasers.
16:36 CEST 259km/6.8km to go
Bettini gives it
everything now, with the five chasing at 5 seconds. Where is the bunch?
The chasers: Karsten Kroon and Michael
Boogerd (Netherlands), Fabian Wegmann (Germany), Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan)
and David Millar (Great Britain).
Paolo Bettini is on the descent.
The chasers have the advantage here. Two Dutch riders too...
16:37 CEST 259km/6.8km to go
They'll surely get
Bettini as Boogerd does a strong turn. Yes, he's caught. He is still the best
16:38 CEST 260km/5.8km to go
But the descent
spells doom for the breakaway, because the peloton is now back with them en
masse. Bunch sprint? Very likely. Rogers is in third wheel behind Elmiger. Rogers
takes over for a turn. All the sprinters are here, it looks like: Boonen, McEwen,
Zabel(?), Valverde, Hushovd.
16:39 CEST 260.8km/5km to go
The Italians and
Russians try to get something happening, but it's no go as they reach the roundabout
with maybe 40 riders.
Next attack, just before the left
hander, comes from a Dutch rider, but he's heavily marked. Schumacher and Pozzato
16:41 CEST 261.8km/4km to go
Schumi looks back
and sees that they have the company of about 40 other riders. Haselbacher and
McEwen are well placed. Rebellin attacks now!
This is the last little hill, and
Rebellin has a small lead on three riders, then the bunch.
16:42 CEST 262.8km/3km to go
and the bunch is 10 seconds back. The Italian who always wanted to represented
his country at the worlds (whether that be Italy or Argentina) is trying for
the rainbow jersey!
But he's caught.
16:43 CEST 263.3km/2.5km to go
but it doesn't go anywhere. Boonen is up there in fifth wheel. Cancellara rolls
through with Efimkin.
16:43 CEST 263.8km/2km to go
Haselbacher is having
a great ride, he's got Eisel...
Millar attacks with 2 km to go, but
A last km attack might win this ,
but it's looking like a bunch sprint.
16:44 CEST 264.3km/1.5km to go
Pozzato does a
turn, locks flowing in the breeze, then Valverde in second wheel ahead of Millar.
16:44 CEST 264.8km/1km to go
There's not much
of a leadout happening. 1 km to go.
Two Spanish in front, and one of
them is Valverde.
Four riders have a gap, with Bettini,
Sanchez, Valverde, and Zabel...
16:46 CEST 265.8km/0km to go
Valverde goes from
a long way out, then Zabel, who gives it everything but can's stop Paolo Bettini
from winning the world championship!!!!! Goooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!
Valverde third, then McEwen, we think.
The Italian camp goes wild! Paolo
Bettini cannot believe it. He tried to do it alone, but in the end, a gap was
created in the last 500m and three sprinters were led out by Sanchez and Valverde.
Zabel almost had it, but Bettini was way too strong.
Well, Paolo Bettini now has a very
impressive palmares. Olympic champ, World champ, several classics. He kisses
the TV camera and hugs his soigneur and then his wife in that order.
And that ends our coverage of the
2006 road world championships in Sunny Salzburg(tm). We saw a fascinating men's
road race, with the best three guys finally getting up, although not many would
have predicted that the winning breakaway would go with 500m to go.
On the podium, Zabel and Valverde hoist Bettini up so at least he is taller
than them. It's all in good humour, even if Valverde looks a bit disappointed
to have gone too early in that sprint. Quick.Step has the world champion again.
We'll be back live next Sunday with the Championship of Zurich. Auf wiedersehen!
1 Paolo Bettini (Italy) 6.15.36
2 Erik Zabel (Germany)
3 Alessandro Valverde (Spain)
4 Samuel Sanchez (Spain) 0.02
5 Robbie McEwen (Australia)
6 Stuart O'Grady (Australia)
7 Uros Murn (Slovenia)
8 Botcharov Alexandre (Russian Federation)
9 Tom Boonen (Belgium)
10 Vladimir Gusev (Russian Federation)
Back to top